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Suffredin's Statement on the Budget: Jan. 16, 2007

President Todd Stroger made his 2007 Budget Address today. The proposal seeks to close a $350 million shortfall. The Budget calls for no new or increased taxes and reduces non-core mission services while eliminating 1042 vacant positions and laying off 450 employees through out the County. The proposal contains a series of “Target Adjustments” totaling nearly $100 million that are further cuts to services and jobs that are to be specified by the Board during the budget hearings. This Budget fulfills President Stroger’s commitment to cut the budget 17% made December 28, 2006.

View President Stroger’s budget recommendation and the related 2007 Budget documents.

Now that the President has presented a 2007 Budget, it is now up to the Cook County Board to hold hearings and offer amendments to make this Budget work for the citizens.

View a  list of all the Public hearings.

I expect that the Public Hearings this year will be different from past years in that the Board for the first time will have to function as a real legislative body. In the prior years the Public Hearings were used as pep rallies for the proposed budget and discussion of changing priorities was stifled. This years hearings will have to finish the “Target Adjustments” and create a spending plan that matches a new style of what services are core needs for our citizens.

I encourage all citizens to attend the Public Hearings and to speak out on issues that concern them. I will work to strengthen our revenues and better refine more efficient ways of providing service. As the President said in his address his responsibility is complete with the presentation of the Budget. The Board’s responsibility to finish this Budget in a fair and just manner has just begun.

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